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Budding success: Smart commercial leasing for cannabis ventures

On Behalf of | Jun 10, 2024 | california regulation of medical marijuana

When planning to open a marijuana retail business, you need a space to house your operations. Leasing a headquarters is often the most common choice for new cannabis retailers.

Leasing commercial space is not the same as renting a house or apartment. For example, commercial lease terms tend to differ substantially from residential leases.

Here are four essential considerations when looking for a commercial cannabis space in California.

1. Zoning laws and regulations

Be sure to check the local zoning laws for properties you are interested in. These regulations can vary from city to city, affecting where cannabis businesses can legally operate. Some areas may allow for cultivation but not retail sales, or vice versa.

2. Lease terms and escape causes

For new cannabis entrepreneurs, negotiating a shorter lease term may provide flexibility as your business builds up steam. Including an escape clause is also wise, allowing for early termination under specific circumstances, such as changes in legislation.

3. Proximity to sensitive locations

Another often overlooked zoning concern is the proximity of a cannabis business to sensitive areas. In Los Angeles County, marijuana establishments must be at least 600 ft. away from sensitive places like schools, youth centers and daycares.

4. Conditional use permits (CUPs)

These permits may allow your business to bypass some zoning restrictions and usually contain specific usage conditions. They are transferable from one tenant to the next, but carefully review any CUPS you encounter to ensure they align with your operations and goals.

Business laws and regulations can be tedious and sometimes hard to comprehend. Having a legal partner to guide you through the web of business legislation can help prevent missteps with your new marijuana business.